The Graffiti Investigations Detail’s mission is “To maintain a safe and clean Oxnard by improving the quality of life for residents and working to prevent acts of graffiti vandalism. With the assistance and support of our community, Oxnard will continue to be a safe and desirable place to live and work. Partnerships will make a difference and measure up to help stop graffiti.”
The Graffiti Investigations Detail participates in a Citywide, inter-department effort to address graffiti, which costs the City of Oxnard over $1 Million annually. The Oxnard Police Department participates in the Graffiti Task Force, which is chaired by the Mayor and a member of the City Council. The Graffiti task force holds regular, public meetings and discusses graffiti abatement, intervention enforcement, and deterrence. The Graffiti Task Force is largely responsible for the City’s tough stance against graffiti, and has shown that the City of Oxnard is a leader in Ventura County in this area.
During calendar year 2012, graffiti detectives unit conducted 105 investigations and made 51 arrests for vandalism-oriented crimes. The Graffiti Unit along with the City’s GAP members use a graffiti database called “TAGRS.” This database tracks known graffiti vandals and graffiti related crime trends to assist the investigators and beat teams in determining the most active areas that graffiti is located.
- In 2011, there were 522 reported graffiti vandal ism cases compared to 147 cases in 2012, a 72% reduction.
- Even though there have been fewer cases of graffiti vandalism reported to the police, graffiti arrests have increased from 109 in 2011 to 180 in 2012.
- The Graffiti Action Program, known as GAP, has seen a strong decrease in calls to the call center since 2007.
- In 2007, GAP received 6,740 calls and responded to 17,454 incidents.
- In 2012, GAP received 3,527 calls.
The Oxnard Police Department, Code Compliance Officials, and the City of Oxnard are dedicated to tracking and apprehending graffiti vandals.
- In the City of Oxnard, graffiti vandals are now subject to $1,000 per graffiti offense. The parents of minors convicted of graffiti vandalism are now responsible for the payment of the fine(s).
- Convicted graffiti vandals can serve up to 100 hours of community service , jail time and/or face felony charges.
- Convicted graffiti vandals could also face revocation of their Drivers License.
- In the City of Oxnard, if you are suspected of graffiti vandalism and are inpossession of graffiti implements, you could be fined up to $1,000(Example: Spray paint, paint markers, shoe polish dauders, drill bits, sandpaper, grinding stones, brillo pads, rocks, permanent markers, stickers (slap tagging), glass etching solvents.)
The Oxnard School Districts and the City of Oxnard have teamed up in the fight against graffiti vandalism. Oxnard’s zero tolerance approach to dealing with graffiti vandals stems from a growing frustration that no matter how hard we work to remove graffiti markings and how much we spend to replace graffiti-ridden textbooks, the vandalism continues.
Ordinance of the City of Oxnard
ORDINANCE NO. 2708
ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF OXNARD REPEALING AND READOPTING ARTICLE V OF CHAPTER 7 OF THE OXNARD CITY CODE (GRAFFITI)
The City Council of the City of Oxnard does ordain as follows:
Part 1: Article V of Chapter 7 of the Oxnard City Code is hereby repealed and readopted to read as follows:
ARTICLE V. GRAFFITI
SEC. 7-80. DECLARATION OF GRAFFITI AS A PUBLIC NUISANCE.
The city council hereby finds and determines that graffiti is a public nuisance and that the health, safety and welfare of the city’s residents shall be furthered by the establishment of a graffiti prohibition and removal program; sales, possession, and storage regulations for graffiti implements; and a reward for apprehension of persons damaging, destroying, or defacing public or private property.
SEC. 7-81. DEFINITIONS.
For purpose of this article, the following words shall have the following meanings:
(A) ADHESIVE STICKERS – Any piece of paper, fabric, plastic, or other material with an adhesive, paste or gummed backing, which, when applied or affixed to any surface, either creates a permanent contact or is not easily removable without the use of solvents.
(B) AEROSOL PAINT CONTAINER – A container, regardless of the material from which it is made, that is adapted or made for the purpose of spraying paint or other substances capable of defacing property.
(C) DEFACEMENT – The intentional altering of the physical shape or physical appearance of property without the prior written consent of the owner.
(D) ETCHING CREAM – Any caustic cream, gel, liquid, or solution capable, by means of a chemical action, of marking, defacing, damaging, or destroying glass, plastic, wood, metal, or concrete surfaces in a manner similar to acid.
(E) ETCHING TOOL – Any sharp or pointed instrument that is capable of etching or marking glass, plastic, wood, metal, or concrete surfaces, including, but not limited to, picks, scribes, awls, chisels, markers, and etchers, or any masonry or glass drill bit, carbide drill bit, glass cutter, grinding stone, or acid etching solution.
(F) GRAFFITI – Any unauthorized inscription, word, figure, mark, adhesive sticker, or design that is written, marked, etched, scratched, drawn, painted, labeled, pasted, applied, or affixed on any real or personal property of another.
(G) GRAFFITI IMPLEMENT – An adhesive sticker, an aerosol paint container, etching cream, an etching tool, an indelible marker, a paint stick, a graffiti stick, a spray actuator, or any other device or instrument capable of creating graffiti.
(H) INDELIBLE MARKER – Any device containing fluid that is not soluble in water and has a writing surface for applying such fluid.
(I) MINOR – A person less than 18 years of age.
(J) PAINT STICK or GRAFFITI STICK – A device containing a solid form of paint, chalk, wax, epoxy, or other similar substance that is not soluble in water, is capable of being applied to a surface by pressure, and upon application, leaves a mark.
(K) RESPONSIBLE ADULT – A parent, legal guardian or teacher of a minor.
(L) SPRAY ACTUATOR – An object or device that is capable of being attached to an aerosol or other paint container for the purpose of spraying the substance contained therein.
SEC. 7-82. GRAFFITI PROHIBITED.
It shall be unlawful for any person to place graffiti on or apply graffiti to any public, private, or personal property located within the city without permission of the owner of the property.
SEC. 7-83. GRAFFITI REMOVAL.
Every owner of property shall remove graffiti promptly from such property.
SEC. 7-84. REMOVAL OF GRAFFITI BY PRIVATE PARTY.
(A) When graffiti is capable of being viewed by a person while standing in or on any public property, the city manager or designee may direct, in writing, that the owner of the graffitied property remove the graffiti.
(B) Unless additional time is granted by the city manager or designee, the property owner shall remove the graffiti within five calendar days after the date of receipt of a notice to remove the graffit.
(C)(1) For each day the graffiti remains beyond five calendar days after receipt of the notice to remove the graffiti, the owner of the graffitied property shall be in violation of the code.
(2) Each and every such day shall constitute a new and separate violation of this code and may be charged as such.
SEC. 7-85. REMOVAL OF GRAFFITI BY CITY.
Whenever the city manager, or designee, determines that graffiti may be viewed by a person in accordance with section 7-84(A), the city manager or designee is authorized to provide for and to use public funds to remove the graffiti upon the following conditions:
(A) The graffiti removal shall not involve the painting or repair of a more extensive area than is necessary for such removal.
(B) If the subject property is owned by a public entity other than the city, the removal requires the consent of an authorized representative of such entity and the representative shall execute a release and waiver approved as to form by the city attorney.
(C) If the subject property is privately owned, the removal requires the consent of the property owner and the owner shall execute a release and waiver approved as to form by the city attorney.
SEC. 7-86. PROHIBITION OF GRAFFITI IMPLEMENTS ON PUBLIC PROPERTY OR IN PUBLIC VEHICLES.
(A) It shall be unlawful for any person to have in his or her possession any adhesive sticker, etching tool, indelible marker, paint stick, or graffiti stick while in or upon any public facility, park, playground, swimming pool, beach, recreational facility, or other public building owned or operated by the city where signs forbidding such possession without valid authorization are displayed in a reasonable location or locations.
(B) It shall be unlawful for any minor to possess any graffiti implement while in or upon school property, grounds, facilities, buildings, or structures. The provisions of this subdivision shall not apply to the possession of indelible markers by a minor attending a school at which the minor is enrolled if the minor is participating in a class at the school that formally requires the possession of indelible markers.
SEC. 7-87. PROHIBITION OF SALE OF GRAFFITI IMPLEMENTS TO MINORS.
It shall be unlawful for any person, other than a responsible person, to sell, exchange, give, loan, or otherwise furnish, or cause to permit to be sold, exchanged, given, loaned, or otherwise furnished, any etching tool, indelible marker, paint stick, graffiti stick, or spray actuator to a minor unless such minor is accompanied by a responsible adult.
SEC. 7-88. REQUIRED SIGN.
(A) Every retail establishment selling or offering for sale etching tools, indelible markers, paint sticks, graffiti sticks, or spray actuators shall post at the location of retail sale a sign in letters at least three-eighths of an inch high and clearly visible and legible to employees and customers stating:
“It is unlawful for any person to sell or give any etching tool, indelible marker, paint stick, graffiti stick, or spray actuator to a minor who is not accompanied by a responsible adult.”
(B) Every retail establishment selling or offering for sale etching tools, indelible markers, paint sticks, graffiti sticks, or spray actuators capable of defacing property shall post in a conspicuous space a sign in letters at least three-eighths of an inch high stating:
“Any person who defaces real or personal property with an etching tool, indelible marker, paint stick, graffiti stick, or spray actuator is guilty of vandalism which is punishable by a fine, imprisonment, or both.”
SEC. 7-89. STORAGE REQUIREMENTS FOR AEROSOL CONTAINERS AND ETCHING CREAM.
(A) Every person who owns, conducts, operates, or manages a retail establishment selling or offering for sale any graffiti implement shall keep, store, and maintain such graffiti implements in a place that is locked and secure or otherwise made unavailable to the public except upon request.
(B) This section shall not apply to the selling or offering for sale of adhesive stickers.
SEC. 7-90. REWARDS
(A) The city council hereby authorizes the city manager to pay a reward to any person who provides information leading to the identity and the apprehension of any person who willfully or maliciously places graffiti on any public or private property within the city. The maximum reward amount available shall be established by resolution of the city council.
(B) The exact amount of the reward to be paid shall be determined by the chief of police, or designee, after receipt of a report from a police officer confirming the role of the recommended reward recipient. No law enforcement officer, municipal officer or employee of the city shall be eligible to receive such reward.
SEC. 7-91. FINE FOR VIOLATION OF THIS ARTICLE.
(Any person who violates the provisions of sections 7-8s2, 7-84(B), 7-86(A), 7-87, 7-88, or 7-89 of this article is subject to a fine in accordance with article III of this chapter.
SEC. 7-92. LIABILITY FOR COST OF GRAFFITI ABATEMENT; LIEN PROCEDURES.
(A) For purposes of this section, the following words and phrases shall have the following meanings:
(1) EXPENSE OF ABATEMENT – Includes, but is not limited to, court costs, attorney’s fees, costs of removal of the graffiti or other inscribed material, costs of repair and replacement of defaced property, and the law enforcement costs incurred in identifying and apprehending the person responsible for placing graffiti or other inscribed material on property of another.
(2) MINOR – A person less than 18 years of age who falls into one of the following categories:
(a) Has confessed to, admitted to, or pled guilty or nolo contendere to a violation of Cal. Penal Code, Section 594, 594.3, 640.5, 640.6, or 640.7;
(b) Has been convicted by final judgment of a violation of Cal. Penal Code, Section 594, 594.3, 640.5, 640.6, or 640.7; or
(c) Has been declared a ward of the Juvenile Court pursuant to Cal. Welfare and Institutions Code, Section 602 by reason of the commission of an act prohibited by Cal. Penal Code, Section 594, 594.3, 640.5, 640.6, or 640.7.
(3) PERSON OTHER THAN A MINOR – A person who has confessed to, admitted to, or pled guilty or nolo contendere to a violation of Cal. Penal Code, Section 594, 594.3, 640.5, 640.6, or 640.7.
(B) When the city abates graffiti or other inscribed material placed on public or private property by a minor, the city manager or designee may impose a lien for the expense of abatement against the property of the minor or against the property of the parent or guardian having custody and control of said minor, and the expense of abatement shall be a personal obligation against the minor or against the parent or guardian having custody and control of the minor.
(C) When the city abates graffiti or other inscribed material placed on public or private property by a person other than a minor, the city manager or designee may impose a lien for the expense of abatement against the property of said person, and the expense of abatement shall be a personal obligation against the person.
(D) If the city manager or designee imposes a lien for the expense of abatement as set forth in subdivisions (B) or (C) of this section, the city manager or designee shall provide notice to the person who owns the property upon which the lien is being imposed prior to the recordation of the lien. The city manager or designee shall serve the notice in the same manner as a summons in a civil action pursuant to Cal. Code of Civil Procedure, Part 2, Title 5, Chapter 4, Article 3 (commencing with Section 415.10).
(E) If the person who owns the property upon which the lien is being imposed cannot be located after diligent search, the city manager or designee may serve the notice by posting a copy of the notice upon the property in a conspicuous place for a period of ten days. The city manager or designee shall also publish the notice pursuant to Cal. Code of Civil Procedure, Section 6062 in a newspaper of general circulation that is published in the county in which the property is located.
(F) All liens imposed pursuant to subdivisions (B) or (C) of this section shall be recorded in the county recorder’s office in the county in which the parcel of land is located and shall contain the following information:
(1) The amount of the lien;
(2) The name and agency on whose behalf the lien is imposed;
(3) The date of the abatement order;
(4) The street address, legal description, and assessor’s parcel number of the parcel on which the lien is imposed; and
(5) The name and address of the recorded owner of the parcel.
(G) If a lien is discharged, released, or satisfied, either through payment or foreclosure, notice of the discharge containing the information specified in subdivision (F) of this section shall be recorded by the city. A lien and the release of a lien shall be indexed in the grantor-grantee index.
(H) Any lien imposed pursuant to subdivisions (B) or (C) of this section may be satisfied through foreclosure in an action brought by the city.